LEXINGTON, Ky. – After an impressive road win Thursday at Alabama, who is receiving votes in the latest Associated Press Top 25, the University of Kentucky women’s basketball team looks for more of the same Sunday as it plays host to Georgia at 3 p.m. ET inside Memorial Coliseum. The game will serve as UK’s annual Alumni Game with former players invited back to attend the game and be introduced at halftime.
The game will be televised nationally on SEC Network with Courtney Lyle on play-by-play and Tamika Catchings as the analysts. The game can also be seen through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones and tablets. Now in his 12th season, Neil Price will have the call on the UK Sports Network. Fans in Lexington can hear Price’s call of the game on WLAP 630 AM.
Kentucky (11-6, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) got a key road win – its first win in a true road game all season – on Thursday at Alabama, taking down the Crimson Tide, 71-54. The Wildcats got a career performance from senior post Evelyn Akhator, who scored 29 points on 12-of-14 shooting, including 5-of-6 from the free throw line, adding 15 rebounds and three assists. Fellow senior Makayla Epps scored 16 points with three assists in the game. UK outrebounded the Tide, who entered the game with a +9.9 rebounding margin, winning the battle of points in the paint, 34-30. Kentucky shot 64.0 percent from the field in the second half, including 3-of-8 from long range to take control of the game. The road win was critical for a Kentucky team that is in the midst of playing four of six games on the road, including back-to-back road games at LSU and Auburn next week.
On the season, Epps still leads Kentucky by averaging 16.9 points per game, adding 4.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Akhator is averaging a double-double this season with 14.5 points and 10.4 points per game. The senior post has nine double-doubles this season and 22 for her career, ranking fourth most in program history and the most ever by a two-year UK player. Sophomore Maci Morris and Taylor Murray each are averaging in double figures. Morris is averaging 11.6 points per game and is second on the team with 27 made 3-pointers, while Murray is averaging 12.7 points per game and is third on the team with 4.8 rebounds per game.
Overall, Kentucky is averaging 70.5 points per game this season, hitting 43.0 percent from the field and 31.0 from the 3-point line. The Wildcats have a +2.9 rebounding margin and are averaging 12.9 assists per game. UK is averaging only 12.1 turnovers per game, which ranks sixth best nationally and first in the SEC. Individually, Akhator ranks top 20 in the nation and top three in the league in rebounds and rebounds per game, while also sitting 12th nationally and third in the SEC in field-goal percentage. Epps ranks high in several national categories, including 35th in the nation and fourth in the SEC in field goals made, 54th nationally and sixth in the SEC in points and 35h in the nation and fifth in the SEC in minutes played.
Georgia has begun its season with a 10-7 overall record including a 2-2 mark in SEC play. After opening its conference slate with a 63-45 loss to Missouri on New Year’s Day, the Bulldogs won two straight in Athens against Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Georgia is coming off a nail-biting 66-63 loss at No. 5/5 South Carolina. Sophomore forward Caliya Robinson leads the way for the Lady Bulldogs with a team-high 15.4 points per game. Senior Pachis Roberts is second on the team in scoring with 13.1 points per game and leads the Bulldogs on the boards averaging 7.4 rebounds. Junior forward Mackenzie Engram is the third and final UGA player in double-digit scoring, averaging 11.5 points per contest.
In its last outing, UGA dropped a tight game at highly ranked South Carolina. Three Bulldogs scored in double figures with Roberts leading the way with 17 points, adding eight rebounds and two assists. Robinson scored 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Engram had 11 points and five rebounds. The Bulldogs shot 42.1 percent from the field, outrebounding South Carolina 40-34. UGA hit seven 3s in the game, going 7-of-15 from beyond the arc with Engram leading the way going 3-of-5.
As a team, Georgia is averaging 63.2 points per game this season, limiting opponents to 59.2 points per game. The Bulldogs are averaging 15.4 assists per game, hitting 42.0 percent from the field, including 27.8 percent from 3. UGA ranks fifth in the league in field-goal percentage defense at 36.7 percent.
Sunday’s meeting with Georgia is the 53rd all-time meeting in program history with UGA leading the all-time series 36-16. The Bulldogs lead the series in games played in Lexington, 13-9. The Wildcats have won each of the last two meetings, but the Bulldogs have won two of the last three games played inside Memorial Coliseum. Mitchell is 7-7 all-time against Georgia.
Last season on Jan. 10, 2016 inside Stegeman Coliseum, Kentucky took down Georgia, 64-53. The Wildcats limited the Bulldogs to just 21 points in the first half on 8-of-27 shooting from the field. UK shot just 37.3 percent from the field in the game, but outrebounded the Bulldogs 45-35 with 19 second-chance points. Akhator had a double-double in the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Epps added 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Morris went 3-of-4 from 3 in the game with nine points.